The pandemic has plunged multiple industries into unprecedented circumstances, and healthcare is no exception.
“2020 has been quite the curveball for healthcare” – commented Adam Gale of KLAS. The viral spread has altered the conventional practices of both clinicians and patients. Now is the time we identify the behaviors shift and invest in a new future where they experience virtual communication and treatment.
Widespread service disruptions and changes in patient behaviors
In a recent survey, WHO has confirmed that many countries are suffering from health service disruption due to the pandemic. Many hospitals are reporting a sharp fall in the admission rate. In fact, as restrictions come into effect, they have denied treatment to patients with non-critical diseases.
Yet, there is also a decline in admission for acute medical illnesses, including stroke and acute coronary syndromes. Not just because healthcare providers have become less accessible, patients have been canceling treatments themselves. It is the fear of viral contagion that keeps them from making the trip to the hospital.
Bridge the gaps in conventional care delivery models
Under such extraordinary times, patients likely opt for safe, convenient, and cost-effective treatments. Thanks to technology advancements, organizations can rapidly shift focus and continue to provide excellent service in the new, remote world.
Remote managed care and virtual services
Telehealth has been serving as a channel for doctors to follow up with their patients’ dedication. Yet recently, this solution has solved the dilemmas of healthcare access and the availability of physicians. Doctors can regularly check up on their patients and provide prompt treatment, and patients can quickly consult with doctors about their condition. This new practice is expected to save both parties’ time and effort, align with social distancing practice, and make healthcare services accessible on-the-go with just a few clicks.
Facilitation of wearable tech
IoT technology has made contact-based hospital visits become non-obligatory, and now patients can monitor their health status using an easy-to-carry device. Real-time health and fitness data can be shared with the assigned doctor who will give out advice and guidance.
Wearable tech is likely to become an effective tool to proactively monitor people’s health. But high price and privacy concerns might be the factors users should be more cautious about.
Cloud-based healthcare systems
A shared medical-record platform could make remote consultation way more feasible. As medical histories are stored and updated in a uniform manner, clinicians could easily access them and track patients’ state. Thereby, doctors would provide early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
It may be possible that cloud computing will leverage the engagement of healthcare providers with patients across their care journey. Sharing and exchanging medical records across healthcare providers, however, have been nearly impossible because the organizations operate independently and differently. To this end, data interoperability remains a significant hurdle
The pandemic has brought about notable changes in healthcare delivery, in which virtual care and IoT devices are among the valuable attributes. There is still a lot of room for technology advancements in this new health IT landscape. We can anticipate a future where new digital innovations improve patient outcomes.